Canadian developer preps first U.S. medical office venture in Orlando

Bob Moser

Principals behind Canadian commercial developer KB Group are preparing a Florida market entry by way of Orlando, filing plans Monday for a new medical office building near Lake Nona and an eye for more land in the region to pursue independent senior living. 

Located in the 11700 block of Narcoossee Road, the 1.5-acre site lies just south of the new Gator's Dockside being built at the corner of Narcoossee and Kirby Smith roads, and northeast of the Tavistock-developed Lake Nona Landing. 

An investment affiliate filed its Development Plan in Orange County for a three-story, 23,173-square-foot commercial building, in which the upper two floors are earmarked for medical office lease and the ground floor for retail. 

This is the group's first development venture in Florida, and was drawn to the Narcoossee corridor two years ago by Lake Nona's population growth and bargain land value at the time, co-owner Tarun Biju told GrowthSpotter

The investment entity, Nona Center LLC, paid $880,000 for the 1.5-acre site this past January, and is managed by Biju, his family members and local attorney Henry C. Parker.  

"We were fortunate to find a good piece of land there nearly two years ago," Biju said. "We did a lot split and it took us a while to rezone it and get the PD approved (this past spring)." 

Patsy Woody, a real estate broker behind Woody Properties who primarily focuses on Lake Nona residential, introduced Biju to the site and is being given first shot at marketing the project's medical office and retail space for lease, he said.  

CivilCorp Engineering is civil engineer on the project, McKee Construction is the general contractor, and KB's own in-house architect led design alongside Altamonte Springs-based PNM Architecture.

Biju declined to estimate a total project cost at this time, based on the prospective building's fluctuating height that will rely on variance approval. But the developer will be seeking a construction loan and has begun talking to local banks, he said.  

"As soon as the DP gets approved we want to break ground," added Biju, estimating a start for early fourth quarter of this year. 

Looking forward, Biju and his partners will be seeking more land development opportunities in Central Florida, is drawn to submarkets with population growth, and has an interest in replicating the independent living community model that it has developed in Canada, along with medical office, he said. 

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